Human beings have close encounters with other species on a daily basis. For example, in the past 24 hours I have shaken a large spider from a bath towel; taken care not to hit a frog with my car; carried a hitchhiking grasshopper on my bike; been leapt on by a big dog; been rubbed against by a small cat; fed upon a chicken; been fed upon by a mosquito. Such a day is fairly tame. But this past summer you couldn't swing a dead alligator without hitting a news story about wild interactions between Homo sapiens and other organisms.
Take the guy who swung the live alligator. Here's the beginning of the Associated Press account, out of Port Orange, Fla., in July: "A man hit his girlfriend with a three-foot alligator and threw beer bottles at her during an argument in the couple's mobile home, authorities said." This relatively short sentence (which is also what a judge will probably give the gator swinger) is so evocative that further comment would only dull its luster.
This article was originally published with the title Wild Life.